Biting nails is a common nervous habit that can leave your nails mangled, sore and prone to infection. These professional tips can help you stop the mindless nibbling for good.
Cut your nails short
As soon as you make the commitment to break your nail-biting habit, grab a nail clipper or nail file and start keeping your nails neatly trimmed. Cutting nails is important because it helps avoid the action of biting nails and prevents infection.
You may already have nail damage, red nail beds, and possible sores around the nail bed from years of gnawing, but if you stop now, you instantly slash your risk of a potentially dangerous infection.
Chew gum or mints
At the onset of quitting the habit, you may need to replace nail-biting with a neutral habit. By chewing gum or eating mints throughout the day, which keep your mouth occupied and less available for nibbling, you may be able to prevent the automatic instinct to bite your nails.
Commit to specific goals
By committing to effective goals that are specific and easy to measure, such as drinking an extra glass of water every day, rather than drinking more water in general, you can stop your nail-biting habit.
According to the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, this habit affects some 20 to 30 percent of the world’s population. Consider committing to an hour of no nail biting and gradually work your way up to two hours, three hours, and whole days and weeks.
If you’re a habitual nail biter, chances are you don’t even remember when this habit formed. The action of biting nails is often a childhood habit that many people carry into adulthood and over time becomes extremely difficult to quit.
If your nail-biting habit has become so second nature that you don’t even realize you’re nibbling, you may need help from family or friends.
You can share your goal with the people closest to you by asking them to bring any absent-minded munching to your attention.
In the craziness of your day-to-day life, your commitment to giving up nail biting might not be too priority on your mind. The goal is to become aware of the habit and slowly eliminate it. If you want to learn how to stop biting nails, you can create little reminders or set regular alarms that draws your attention back to the goal.